As any Texan will tell you, it’s not the holidays without tamales. And one of San Antonio’s most popular tamale shops is gifting Austin with the signature dish just in time for the holiday season.
Delicious Tamales will open its first Central Texas outpost on 1931 E. Oltorf St. in Austin in mid-November, according to a release.
Delicious Tamales is one of Alamo City’s biggest success stories. Like many Mexican-Americans, founder Valerie Gonzalez learned the art of tamale making during annual Christmas tamaladas with relatives. In 1980, she and her former husband volleyed that knowledge into a business, using a mere $500 initial investment.
Today, the business is a flourishing chain with six walk-up locations scattered across San Antonio. Delicious Tamales also operates a 30,000-square-foot factory where corn is cooked and stone-ground to produce 1,800 pounds of masa daily for supplying the storefronts and a successful mail-order business.
Although the capacity has greatly increased since the ‘80s, the concept’s standards are still high. The tamales are always made with fresh ingredients, with no fillers or preservatives added. The quality ensures that Delicious Tamales regularly receives acclaim on annual best-of lists like the San Antonio Express-News’ yearly Reader’s Choice Awards.
Gonzalez and co-owner and daughter Herlinda Lopez hope to repeat that success in Austin. It helps that they have already established an avid customer base, they say.
“We are grateful for the loyalty of individuals, corporations, and several nonprofits from Austin,” says Gonzalez via release. “Opening a location here makes it possible for more people to enjoy old-fashioned tamales like my Abuelita taught us to make.”
The new Austin outpost will serve hot or cold take-out tamales available in more than a dozen varieties.
While traditionalists flock to the pork variety, seasoned with chile powder to give a signature red hue, the company has also adapted its offerings to contemporary tastes. Among the hit flavors are jalapeño cheese; Southwest vegetarian with corn, black beans, and red bell peppers; and tomatillo chicken. There’s even a sweet version made with coconut, raisins, and pecans.
Customers can also order delivery through apps like UberEats and Door Dash when they need a quick tamale fix.